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Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week

Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week

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A FURTHER 592 cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Ireland, health chiefs have confirmed.

Ireland’s virus death toll has also risen by 10 this evening to 4,509.

Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week
Reuters

Army flight crew load up boxes of Moderna vaccines into a helicopter to deliver them to Arranmore Island, at the military airbase in Baldonnell[/caption]

Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week
PA: Press Association

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn[/caption]

Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly
PA: Press Association
Ireland sees 10 more deaths and 592 cases of Covid-19 as nursing home residents to be allowed two visits a week
Alamy

Nursing home visits will be increased from March 22[/caption]

Eight of today’s deaths occurred in March, one in February, and one in January.

There has been a total of 225,179 confirmed cases of Covid since the outbreak in Ireland.

Some 253 of today’s cases are located in Dublin, 52 in Kildare, 35 in Donegal, 33 in Meath, 28 in Galway, and the remaining 191 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8 am today, 359 virus patients are hospitalized of which 87 are in ICU.

There have been 32 additional hospitalizations in the past 24 hours.

NURSING HOME VISITS

The figures come as NPHET tonight recommended that nursing home residents can receive two visits a week from Match 22.

The visits will be allowed under “general compassionate grounds” and will be allowed to last beyond an hour.

It is an increase from the current guidance where one visit per resident is allowed every two weeks.

In a statement, the Department of Health said: “The advanced stage of the vaccination rollout in nursing homes provides an opportunity for cautious incremental changes in some public health measures, including on visiting.

“The new visitation guidance incorporates early learning from the positive impact of the vaccine rollout nationally and internationally and will provide enhanced opportunity for visiting in nursing homes across all levels of the government’s plan.”

The new guidance says visits will be possible two weeks after full vaccination of around 80 percent of residents and healthcare workers in a nursing home.

It provides for increased visiting across levels 3 to 5 “subject to risk assessment and no open outbreak”.

HEALTH CHIEFS ‘DELIGHTED’

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly welcomed the development, stating: “This new guidance is a welcome development and underpins the type of benefits that arise from the implementation of the vaccine program.

“I hope that these modifications in the application of the public health protective measures reinforce the real hope that the vaccines are bringing us and continue the journey towards a more normal lived experience.”

Professor Martin Cormican, the Clinical Lead for Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control with HSE said health officials are “delighted” to be able to recommend the guidance.

He said: “Under the new guidance, Residents may be facilitated to receive two visits per week on general compassionate grounds.

“This will be possible following two weeks after a high proportion of residents and healthcare workers have been vaccinated. There is no requirement to limit visits to less than one hour.

“Nursing home residents have been particularly impacted by the severity of Covid-19 restrictions.

“Thanks to vaccination we are delighted to be in a position to recommend new guidance and hopefully relieve residents and their families of some of the isolation they have endured for so long.”

ONE YEAR SINCE FIRST IRISH DEATH

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn welcomed news of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine being authorized on the first anniversary of the first virus death in Ireland.

He said: “Today marks one year since we reported Ireland’s first death related to Covid-19.

“More than 4,500 people have lost their lives with this disease. We remember them, and their families and friends, as well as the many people who remain seriously ill or who are dealing with long-term health issues because of

“We now have three vaccines and a fourth authorized by the European Medicines Agency today, which offers us a way out of this pandemic.

“We must continue to protect as many people as possible from the severe effects of Covid-19 and to give people a chance to become vaccinated over the next number of weeks and months.

“Your efforts to limit contacts and follow the public health advice is not in vain, it is to protect people and it directly saves lives.”